The Benefits and Myths about Gymnastics

By PLAYing in gymnastics, babies, toddlers, children, youth, and adults learn skills that can help prepare them to participate in almost any sport.

Benefits

Gymnastics has many benefits, and helps:

  • Enhance development of brain function, coordination, social skills, gross motor skills, emotions, leadership and creativity.
  • Build confidence, independence and positive self esteem.
  • Support healthy growth and development: build strong bones and muscles, improve flexibility, develop good posture and balance, improve fitness, promote relaxation, improve sleep and promote healthy weight.
  • Children move skillfully and enjoy being active.
  • Leave children with a base that will support lifelong enjoyment and participation in almost any sport.
  • Encourage parents and toddlers to learn, PLAY, and have fun!

Gymnastics also offers cognitive benefits. According to Dr. Robyn Silveman, PhD., “Research suggests that there is a strong correlation between physically fit children and academic achievement. This means that every time you send your child to gymnastics class, they’re getting an opportunity to engage in physical exercise that encourages healthy brain function.” (USA Gymnastics)

Dispelling the myths

The activity and the sport of gymnastics are often confused. The activity of gymnastics incorporate basic elements including springs, rotations and landings to build confidence, strength and flexibility. It can be taught safely with limited knowledge and equipment.

The sport of gymnastics incorporates the above activities into complex skills and routines. It requires more physical preparation, equipment and instructor education.

Myth #1: Gymnastics is only an elite level sport

Fact: Gymnastics is an activity that many people can participate in and benefit from. The majority of participants in gymnastics throughout the world are involved at the recreational level with over 30 million members reported by the International Gymnastics Federation. Gymnastics is highly recognized throughout the world for its educational and fitness benefits.

Myth #2: To participate in gymnastics, you have to be small

Fact: Anyone can participate in gymnastics, regardless of size and strength. The skills that gymnastics provides helps to create a body awareness that all participants can benefit from!

Myth #3: Gymnastics is a dangerous sport

Fact: When a gymnastics program is tailored to the needs of the age group and ability level, it is not dangerous. When you watch gymnastics on TV, it does look like it has a dangerous element – but those athletes are trained and learn how to perform their skills safely.

In fact, gymnastics provides a great sense of safety because participants are taught early how to fall and land without injuries, which is an important part of every sport. Many sports incorporate gymnastics into their training at a young age, so that athletes can learn skills that will make their participation safer!

Check out your local PLAY Gymnastics BC club for more details on how gymnastics will help our child’s development

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